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Australia’s growing fascination with smartphones edging out PCs


Australia’s obsession with next-generation smartphones knows no limit with Telstra’s 2011 Smartphone Index revealing we use mobile internet-connected phones everywhere from business meetings to first dates and even to avoid awkward social encounters.

Telstra Consumer Executive Director Rebekah O’Flaherty, said demand for smartphone technology had soared in the past year, challenging personal computers as a preferred way to access certain online content.

“Telstra’s Smartphone Index shows 46 per cent of Australian mobile phone owners now have a smartphone – up from 31 per cent last year – and this is expected to grow to more than 60 per cent over the next twelve months.”

“It’s clear smartphones are becoming an inseparable part of our lives, with Telstra’s research indicating they now help us to shop smarter, connect with our social networks and kill boredom during business meetings,” Ms O’Flaherty said.

The Telstra Smartphone Index 2011 reveals:

- Mobile social networking surge: Four in ten smartphone web-surfers now access social networking sites such as Facebook® or Telstra’s Tribe® service every day – sharply up from 31 per cent in 2010.
- Smartphones making us savvier shoppers: Almost half of smartphone web-surfers have used their phones to find out more about a product or service before making a purchase. Almost a quarter have actually used their phones to price check while on the shop floor.
- That’s awkward: Four in ten say they have used their smartphone to avoid a social encounter – with 12 per cent admitting they were merely pretending to use their gadget.
- Boredom busters: Almost one in four smartphone surfers admit they’re killing boredom when they use their device during a business meeting.
- Men vs women: Men are bigger smartphone fans with 51 per cent of mobile-using males owning a smartphone vs 42 per cent of females.
- Smartphones firm bed buddies: 56 per cent of smartphone owners admit to using their smartphone in bed – up from 51 per cent the year before. Once again women are most likely to surf between the sheets (54 per cent versus 49 per cent of men).
- Smartphones still don’t make us smart drivers: Alarmingly 17 per cent of motorists admit to illegally surfing the mobile internet on their phones while driving.
- Smartphones are not just for tech-savvy Generation Y. More than one in five Aussie smartphone owners are aged over 50 years, and 39 per cent are more than 40 years.
- Throne-surfing remains popular: A third of Aussie smartphone web users have surfed the mobile web while on the toilet. Men are more avid loo-surfers (35 per cent have throne-surfed versus 30 per cent of women).

“Interestingly while men love to visit app stores and browse news and sports sites, women prefer to spend their time connecting with friends with half saying they check social network sites daily – compared with just a third of men.”

“It’s also clear we love our apps. Almost one in four smartphone web-surfers have downloaded more than 20 free apps. Social network apps and games are rated ‘most useful’ followed by weather, transport, maps, banking and health-related apps”.

The research also found:

- Smartphones are continuing to replace PCs as a preferred way to access some content with one in four smartphone surfers now visiting social networking sites more on their mobiles than they do on a computer and one in five searching the mobile web more on their phones than on a PC.
- Android™ smartphone popularity has soared, with 24 per cent of smartphone users now owning Android™-powered phones such as the HTC Desire S – up from 5 per cent just a year ago.
- Four in ten smartphone web-surfers who used their gadgets while on a date shared photos, links or videos.
- Almost half of Aussies usually surf the mobile web on their smartphone at home, followed by when commuting (14 per cent) and during work hours in the office (8 per cent).
- Smartphone users are almost twice as likely to own a mobile tablet with one in five owning a device like an Apple® iPad® or Motorola XOOM™.
- Four in ten visit sites like Whereis® Maps weekly to get directions and almost a third visit directory sites like Yellow Pages® each week.

About the Research: This research was conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Telstra on a representative sample of 2,827 Australians aged over 16 from across Australia in both metropolitan and regional areas.

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